Chad. In early February, the capital, N’Djamena, was joined by a coalition of rebel forces that have been marching from their bases in Sudan throughout Chad to overthrow President Idriss Déby’s regime. The rebels quickly gained control of parts of the capital, but around the presidential palace, army forces held their ground.
Thousands of people fled N’Djamena, and France led the evacuation of French citizens and other Westerners. The French military force stationed in T. was reinforced but did not intervene in the fighting.
The EU decided to postpone the planned deployment of a security force of 3,700 men, including 200 Swedes. The force would be located in eastern Chad and in the Central African Republic to protect refugees from Darfur in Sudan. Chad accused Sudan of being behind the rebels’ actions in order to stop the EU force. In February, fighting took place in Darfur and thousands more refugees crossed the border to Chad. Déby called on the EU to quickly dispatch the protection force, and in mid-February, the first EUFOR forces were in place in Chad, among them some Swedes.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Click to see the meanings of 2-letter acronym and abbreviation of CD in general and in geography as Chad in particular.
The rebels soon withdrew from N’Djamena and the Chadian regime claimed to have regained control of the city. At least 160 people had been killed in the fighting and many of the victims were civilians. According to authorities, the deaths were several hundred.
As a result of the uprising, the Déby regime struck against the political opposition. Among other things, some leading opposition politicians were arrested. One of them, Ngarlejy Yorongar, managed to escape to Cameroon where he testified that his arrested colleague Ibni Oumar Muhamat Saleh had been beaten. Opposition politician Lol Mahamat Choua was also arrested.
The déby regime imposed a curfew in the capital and in six provinces in the south and east.
In March, for the sixth time in five years, Chad and Sudan signed a non-strike agreement with the hope of ending military conflicts across the border.
However, the rebel forces were not included in the agreement, and they threatened to continue the attempts to overthrow Déby as long as he did not want to talk about the division of power in Chad. In April, a possible sign of bargaining came when Déby appointed his adviser Youssouf Saleh Abbas as new prime minister. Abbas had previously switched from the opposition to Déby and he was expected to be assigned to hold talks with the rebels.
But the unrest continued. In June and July, fierce fighting took place between rebels and the army in eastern Chad, and the UN refugee agency UNHCR was forced to leave a number of refugee camps. The regime accused the EUFOR force of inaction when the rebels attacked and killed civilians. Over a hundred attacks against relief workers had occurred since the beginning of the year. At the same time, the local harvest was poor for the second year in a row and food prices rose.
In November, Chad and Sudan decided to re-establish their diplomatic relations.
According to Countryaah reports, the population of Chad in 2008 was 11,952,025, ranking number 74 in the world. The population growth rate was 3.430% yearly, and the population density was 9.4918 people per km2.